When powerful metal equipment such as balers are used incorrectly, serious injuries—including crushing, amputation, and even death—can occur. However, the majority of these injuries are preventable. To ensure the safety of their employees, businesses should emphasize the importance of following these safety tips for operating a baler.
Prior to using baling equipment, all operators should be properly trained by qualified personnel. This training should include detailed information on policies, procedures, and safety precautions. Evidence of each operators’ training should be properly documented.
When operating or working near a baler, all employees should wear proper protective gear, including safety glasses, gloves, goggles, ear plugs, hard hats, and steel-toed shoes.
Many baling injuries occur when operators attempt to clear jams without turning off the machinery. Although the ram motion will cease during a jam, the baler remains in operation and could reactivate at any time. As such, it’s essential to disconnect the machine’s power supply before clearing a jam to prevent grievous injury.
To prevent unauthorized personnel from using the baler equipment, operators should always remove the key from the switch when the baler isn’t in use.
Before each use of the baling equipment, a proper inspection should be completed to highlight any potential safety issues. Equipment inspections should include checking electrical panels for damage or debris, examining hoses for leaks or abrasions, and checking for cracks or signs of wear in the steel structure.
Displaying proper warning labels on baling equipment is mandated by law. However, these warning signs may not be present on older models. As such, it’s important to ensure that your equipment notifies users of pinch points, age requirements, automatic operation, high voltage, and maximum operating loads—a typical 60-inch vertical baler “should produce bales between 800 and 1,000 pounds.”
By following these safety tips for operating a baler, you can decrease the risk of baler-related injuries in your company.